The EC, ECB and IMF (aka. The Troika) carried out their 11th Review Mission to Ireland recently. Overall the media seem to be reporting that Ireland “passed the bailout review” – but there are still several areas where the Troika have concerns.
The statement published on the IMF website mentions that “Recent national accounts data show weaker economic activity than previously estimated.”
The statement also stressed that the upcoming October Budget for 2014 should “bring the high debt and deficit down in line with Ireland’s commitments “. In other words they expect the Budget 2014 adjustments to be €3.1 Billion as planned.
The Troika mission also urged the authorities to develop 2further structural reforms to enable continued consolidation to be achieved in a durable and growth-friendly manner, while protecting the most vulnerable.”
(Will this mean means testing Child Benefit or a Single Working Age Benefit?)
One major area of concern is unemployment in Ireland . The Troika still don’t seem impressed with the progress on reducing unemployment in Ireland . They say the goverment has not put enough resources into “meaningful engagement with job-seekers, especially the long-term unemployed“.
The IMF/ECB stressed the urgent need to redeploy staff with suitable skills and training – but also said that the private sector should get involved in the povision of employment services. (As in the UK)
Finally – the report again mentioned that there is still lack of competition in certain “sheltered sectors of the economy“. (Legal Sector mainly)